The Indian football scene has recently seen a number of collaborations between clubs from India and abroad, the most prominent of those being the Manchester City-Mumbai City FC tie-up and the partnership between Borussia Dortmund and Hyderabad FC. And now, according to a report by Goal, Saudi-based United World Group have purchased Quartz FC, with the club set to be rebranded as FC Kerala United in the coming days.
The Kozhikode-based club is going to be the fourth football club under the company’s umbrella after K Beerschot VA in Belgium and Al Hilal United in the UAE. The club is reportedly going to participate in the Kerala Premier League as well as the 2nd division I-League, with a view towards moving up the footballing ladder in the country in due time. As far as the acquisition is concerned, the tie-up is set to bring in a number of commercial benefits to the company instead of wholly footballing ones.
Quartz FC (Source: Goal)
For instance, their ownership of Beerschot allowed them to send Sheffield signing Ismaila Coulibaly on loan to the Belgian club, a practice that has become increasingly popular with other examples to be found amongst the City Group-owned clubs (New York, Manchester, Melbourne etc.). Although this may not be the intended plan of action in this particular case, it still allows them to gain prominence in a part of the world which they had earmarked as an up and coming goldmine for footballing activity and income.
With plans for academies and early talent-spotting through grassroots programmes in the pipeline, the newly rechristened club would look to build a solid fan-base in Kerala and lay the foundation for the club’s future prospects in the short-term. Although United World Group initially had plans of collaborating with clubs from Mumbai or Kolkata, the indomitable passion for the game in Kerala seemed to have made their minds up about Quartz FC.